TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The media spoiled the administration's planned news dump that it is tacking on a one-year delay to the Obamacare provision allowing small businesses to enroll online via the federal exchange for insurance plans for their employees. Obama pardoned a Turkey and did his best not to mock the tradition. New Senate race rankings paint an ugly picture for Democrats, a map reminded us we're all getting fatter, and Sriracha could be even harder to find than pecans next Thanksgiving.
DON'T LOOK AT THESE SENATE RACE RANKINGS IF YOU'RE A DEM: Hotline's hot-off-the-presses rankings find that 13 of the 15 seats most likely to flip are Democratic-held, leading our experts to declare "the Senate (is) firmly in play." Happy Thanksgiving, Democrats! (Shepard/Brennan, NJ)
OBAMACARE NEWS DUMP: ONLINE ENROLLMENT FOR SMALL BIZ DELAYED ONE YEAR: The online exchange where small businesses are meant to shop online is being pushed back a year to November 2014, though the non-online option to purchase coverage via a broker remains in tact. The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, had already been delayed and was expected to be working sometime this November. (Robert Pear, WaPo)
AT LEAST THE WHITE HOUSE TURKEY WEBSITE WORKED: Popcorn the turkey, with his long, garbled notes and proud strut, beat out his rival Carmel for the crown title "National Thanksgiving Turkey." Social media elevated this national tradition to a whole new level of weird by inviting Americans to vote for their favorite turkey via Twitter. (Will Storey, NYT)
NUKED OR NOT, SENATE WILL STILL BE SLOW: Despite Harry Reid changing the rules of the game last week, "appointmentapalooza" on Obama's 231 nominations remains unlikely. The filibuster, after all, was just one bottleneck trick used to delay or terminate nominations. Here are the many other ways Republicans can still obstruct. (Molly Ball, The Atlantic)
THE WEEK AHEAD IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The House returns on Monday, but the Senate won't reconvene until Dec. 9. After you eat too much turkey Thursday, a tryptophan-induced sleep coma may be necessary.
T-DAY HEALTH QUESTIONS ANSWERED: Our favorites include "I only enjoy the turkey skins. Is that okay?" and "What if I forget about the giblets?" (James Hamblin, The Atlantic)
SRIRACHA APOCALYPSE IS NIGH: Our favorite hot sauce could be on life support. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered the company to shut down its processing plant after local residents complained fumes were burning their eyes and throats. (Alexander Abad-Santos, The Wire)
POPE QUIZ: Who said it: the Pope or Oberlin's student newspaper? (Juli Weiner, Vanity Fair)
PECAN'T PIE: Bad weather, ravenous animals, and Chinese taste buds are the culprits behind a pecan shortage this year. (Kim Severson, NYT)
WHY THANKSGIVING STILL WINS IN ONE PARAGRAPH: "...It's a holiday to be proud of: Humble without being morose, generous without being opulent, old without being irrelevant, intimate but also all about community. At a time of income inequality, the feast that is its central organizing event is made of ingredients that are democratic. In an era of suspicion, it celebrates immigrants. During a period of polarization, it's something we all agree on. It can be religious if you want, but it doesn't have to be: Thank the Almighty, thank your friends, thank your lucky stars—it's all good." (Michael Schaffer, TNR)
LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Thanksgiving is a reminder of what Washington gave us to be thankful for this year (i.e. jokes) and the five living presidents reunite to spread some holiday cheer. (Reena Flores, NJ)
THE FATTENING OF AMERICA: Watch the American's waistlines expand right before your waistline expands tomorrow. Bon appetite! (Niraj Chokshi, WaPo)Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at NJ. See you next week!